Restaurateurs gear up for inaugural Taste of Perry

awoolen@macon.comNovember 28, 2012 

PERRY -- Local chefs will display some of their creations Thursday at the first Taste of Perry.

The sold-out event, started by Perry Area Chamber of Commerce president Stacy Campbell, will include 13 restaurants and will be held at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter’s Georgia Building starting at 6:30 p.m.

Campbell said one of the ways she wanted to promote Perry was to offer events that help members of the chamber as well as residents.

“The Taste of Perry meets that criteria by giving our member restaurants a venue to promote directly to 400 potential customers in a fun and festive environment,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Rusty’s Downtown Grill, located at 807 Carroll St., will bring Jimmy’s Famous Salad created by chef Jimmy Swiger, who was a chef at Angelino’s before it closed. Swiger is also a former chef at the Officers Club at Robins Air Force Base and the Green Derby.

The salad includes garden greens, Roma tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, pepperoncini, black olives, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese.

Rusty Brown, owner of Rusty’s, will bring enough to feed 400 people.

Alongside the salad will be garlic rolls.

“There may be some surprises,” he said but wouldn’t divulge what they might be.

“I want to wow them,” was his only answer.

Rusty’s has been in business since May 2011. The restaurant features Italian dishes as well as prime rib.

Down the road on Carroll Street, Megan Brent was busy recently fixing up some desserts for her taste sample.

Formerly of Roanoke, Va., Brent owns The Perfect Pear, which is mainly a catering business but is open for lunch Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

The self-taught chef said when Campbell asked her to participate, she didn’t hesitate.

Brent hopes the event will give her restaurant some more business.

“We have an opportunity to get more fans and regular customers,” she said.

The Perfect Pear will bring pumpkin tiramisu and pumpkin cannoli, which are made with a basic ricotta filling along with pumpkin, confectioners sugar and seven herbs and spices.

“I think this will be a wonderful event for Perry,” Brent said.

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